Market Talk – Friday, Feb. 19

ASIA:

China may ban the export of rare-earth refining technology to countries or companies it deems as a threat to state security, according to a person familiar with the matter. While China has no plans to restrict shipments of rare earths to the US, it is keeping the plan in its back pocket should a trade war break out again. The Asian nation is also exploring a ban on rare earths as part of its sanctions on some individual companies, including Lockheed Martin Corp., which violated China’s core interest over arms sales to Taiwan.

Ford Motor has frozen all projects it was working on with Mahindra & Mahindra while it finalizes a new India strategy, weeks after the two companies called off their planned joint venture, Reuters reported. Ford and Mahindra had proposed a joint venture to develop at least three sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) for India and emerging markets, as well as share suppliers, powertrains, and technology. The $275 million deal, which would have ended most of Ford’s independent operations in India, was called off on Dec. 31.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 218.17 points or -0.72% to 30,017.92
  • Shanghai increased 20.81 points or 0.57% to 3,696.17
  • Hang Seng increased 49.46 points or 0.16% to 30,644.73
  • ASX 200 decreased 92.10 points or -1.34% to 6,793.80
  • Kospi increased 20.96 points or 0.68% to 3,107.62
  • SENSEX decreased 434.93 points or -0.85% to 50,889.76
  • Nifty50 decreased 137.20 points or -0.91% to 14,981.75

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • AUDUSD increased 0.00941 or 1.21% to 0.78635
  • NZDUSD increased 0.00812 or 1.12% to 0.73003
  • USDJPY decreased 0.07 or -0.07% to 105.61
  • USDCNY increased 0.00293 or 0.05% to 6.46319

Precious Metals:

  • Gold increased 4.6 USD/t oz. or 0.26% to 1,780.09
  • Silver increased 0.166 USD/t. oz or 0.62% to 27.182

Some economic news from last night:

Japan:

CPI, n.s.a (MoM) (Jan) increased from -0.3% to 0.5%

National Core CPI (YoY) (Jan) increased from -1.0% to -0.6%

National CPI (YoY) (Jan) increased from -1.2% to -0.6%

Manufacturing PMI (Feb) increased from 49.8 to 50.6

Services PMI (Feb) decreased from 46.1 to 45.8

South Korea:

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